Sunday, March 03, 2024

ASICS Metaspeed Sky Paris Multi Tester Review: 9 Comparisons

Article by Michael Ellenberger and Jeff Valliere

ASICS Metaspeed Sky Paris ($250)


With the Paris editions of the Metaspeed Edge and Sky, ASICS brings to the Edge and Sky a new FF Turbo + foam that is 8% lighter, has 8.2% greater energy return and is 6% softer. This new foam is said by ASICS to increase the volume of foam that can return energy by 12% in the Sky and 20% in the Edge with the Edge getting 3mm more forefoot cushion than the earlier plus version. 

The approach of a higher placed (and now wider) carbon plate for “stride” runners in the Sky and a lower more “cadence” or rolling stride for the Edge is unchanged although the Sky gets a wider plate than before.. 

Metaspeed Paris

Top; Edge   Bottom: Sky

Both racers are now 39.5mm heel 34.5 mm forefoot in stack height.  They weigh a much lower approx. 6.5 oz / 185 g US9 for the Edge (-25g) and 6.2 oz / 176g for the Sky, so the Sky comes in below the weight of the Vaporfly 3 and the Edge at its weight, with both having 3mm more front cushion than the Nike. 

Race on? Let’s find out as Michael Ellenberger a 2:21 marathoner puts the Sky Paris to the test also comparing them to the Edge Paris  in his video first impressions review HERE


Hyper light: Michael/Jeff V

Bouncy and fun: Michael/Jeff V

Upper is everything it needs to be: Michael/Jeff V

Traction and durability extremely promising: Michael/Jeff V

Basically no drawbacks compared to the competition: Michael


Division of shoes between identical looking and nearly the same riding Edge and Sky creates more confusion than benefit: Michael/Jeff V

Tongue weirdness: Michael

I personally would prefer a 8mm drop : Michael

3 Most Comparable Shoes

Michael: Nike Vaporfly 3, ASICS Metaspeed Edge Paris , ASICS Adios Pro 3

Please find the tester’s full run bios at the end of the article after Comparisons.


Approx. Weight: men's 6.2 oz  / 176g (US9) 

  Samples: men’s 6.0 oz / 171 g US 8.5, men’s 6.75 oz / 193 g US 10

Stack Height: men’s 39.5 mm heel / 34.5 mm forefoot ( 5mm drop spec) 

Platform Width: 71 mm heel / 63 mm midfoot / 107 mm forefoot

$250. Available March 2024

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Peter: Truly first impressions here as I’ve gotten all of 1 workout in the Edge and 1 in the Sky so far. The upper is very comfortable, breathable and has plenty of room without sacrificing security. 

The tongue is very thin and can take a second to get properly placed–but once in place seems to stay put.

Laces are excellent, light and stay tied unlike some other recent race shoes. Back to back tempo work with the Edge and the Sky revealed that the Sky is a bouncier ride that works at various paces–though is still most fun at marathon pace.. Where the Edge is quite firm, the Sky has some of that magical superfoam bounce that we’ve come to expect from the current crop of racers. 

There’s a nice spring effect coming off of the forefoot and the Sky seems to absorb more of the contact with the road than the Edge. I think the Sky is probably more suited to my running style (as I tend to have a relatively slow cadence). In the first workout it has proven to be a fun and energetic racer. I’m eager to get more miles in to fine-tune my thoughts about it.  

Michael: I was fortunate enough to get both the Metaspeed Edge Paris and Sky Paris from ASICS, and have spent many miles (and many hours) trying to wrap my head around this ASICS-induced matrix: Which shoe? For which runner? At which distance?

Before we get to that - which will, truthfully, have a lot of “it depends'' attached to it - let me come out and say that yes, the new Metaspeed Paris series from ASICS is awesome, really awesome, and the Sky Paris especially feels like a true “next generation” super shoe. In the buildup to these launches, I’ve seen a lot of distaste towards the Metaspeed + series (ostensibly the Metaspeed 2, after the initial line) and I can’t say I agree - I reviewed the Sky+ back in summer 2022, and while it wasn’t perfect (and had a quite annoying upper!), it was a shoe I genuinely enjoyed coming back to for critical workouts in the leadup to my ‘22 Chicago Marathon. 

Naturally, I was excited to test the new Paris series and, as I’ll try to describe below, the Sky Paris is a terrific racer that could stand alone as ASICS’s flagship (if they’d let it).

Quickly, on sizing - my usual 8.5 works well enough, and width and comfort are absolutely top notch (the upper here is sublime; it’s reminiscent of the original ASICS Metaracer, but even lighter!) but if you’re in-between sizes, I’d recommend you go up. I took some nasty toenail blistering after 13 miles one day, and continuing my testing was just adding insult to injury! 

Also, I noticed the tongue bunched weirdly (on both shoes, they're functionally identical) when lacing it up - even when not that tight - but it never presented issues when running. Comparatively, the way-way-way-too-long Vaporfly 3 tongue is a much bigger culprit.

Jeff V:  I am a novice when it comes to super shoes, having only run in the MetaSpeed Sky Tokyo edition from 2021.  I REALLY enjoyed running in that shoe, utilizing them mostly for pushing for an age group placing in my local 10K, the Bolder Boulder, or, the occasional odd virtual running challenge during the pandemic.  My only complaint about them was the durability of the heel, landing on foam and not even a minimal rubber crash pad.  

They were starting to get a bit worn, so Sam was kind enough to include me in reviewing the latest Metaspeed Sky Paris edition, just in time for the 2024 Bolder Boulder.  Out of the box, I am struck by their amazingly sharp and catchy colorway and styling, they look super fast!  The upper to me seems to be a marvel of engineering, as it is crazy thin, literally see through, exceptionally light, flexible and comfortable, yet plenty supportive enough for the task at hand, fast road running.

Fit for me is good true to size, though that is dependent on wearing a very thin sock, as there is very little extra room in the toe as I am used to with size 10 in general (if you are on the upper edge of sizing, you may want to try a half size up).   They have a secure, well held heel with just the right amount of padding and structure, snug and secure lacing and a comfortably roomy forefoot with a some give, while being well structured.  The tongue is quite thin and has a bit of an odd fold as Michael mentions, but has not been a problem for me.  The laces are great, as they are serrated and hold very well when snugging them, with no need to re-tie.  Breathability is obviously very good, given they are see through.

Midsole & Platform

Michael: The biggest difference between the Sky Paris and the Edge Paris is the plate and geometry, so let’s start there. 

Both shoes have a 5mm drop now (the Edge+ had 8mm), and the same 39.5 mm heel and 34.5 mm stack height but the plates are different - the Sky Paris is designed for what ASICS calls “STRIDE” runners: those with a longer gait and longer time spent airborne, and specifically those who increase their speed by extending their stride length (rather than increasing cadence). I suspect this is most elite runners (we see the Sky being used primarily by elites, and there’s science that supports that most top runners maintain a cadence of 180 spm at myriad paces). 

Like the Edge, the Sky has a full-length carbon plate, which is slotted closer to the foot than in the Edge and is markedly wider in the forefoot to increase the bounce from the foam. 

Metaspeed Paris

Top; Edge   Bottom: Sky

Visually, you can see from the midsole markings that the plate sits higher - further from the pavement - relative to the edge.

Sky Paris                                                                Edge Paris

That’s mumbo jumbo you could read online, so I’ll try to cut to it - the Sky Paris is really bouncy and, testing it second, after the Edge (RTR Review) noticeably lighter feelinng than the Edge, even though the  weight difference is a minimal 0.3 oz / 8g with my Sky coming in at 6.0 / 170g US8.5. 

It really feels like a nimble, quick racer - not that the Edge doesn’t, it’s just really obvious here how light this shoe is. It’s reminiscent of what I believe to be its most direct competitor, the Nike Vaporfly 3 (RTR Review). 

The new FF Turbo+ foam - PEBA based and really springy - is welcome here. I don’t have a pair of the Sky+ on hand to do an A/B test, but my impression is that the Sky Paris is noticeably softer than its predecessor with ASICS claiming it is 6% softer and 8% lighter than their prior Turbo foam. The lightness of the foam also allows ASICS to add 12% more energy returnable volume to the shoe. There’s a line between soft and aggressive (many feel that, for example, the NB RC Elite 2 fell on the wrong over-soft side of that line), but ASICS has nailed it here. 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the hips of this shoe - seriously, the forefoot is so wide, it reminds me of a rac

car! Both the Edge and Sky Paris are wide (speaking of platform - the fit is TTS) but man, the Sky is wide.

Jeff V:  Michael describes the midsole perfectly and I honestly do not have much to add that he has not mentioned.  With abnormally long legs for my height, I am for sure a stride runner and the Sky is the right choice for me over the Edge (saying that without ever having tried an Edge, but just based on the recommendations).  The FF Turbo+ foam is remarkably light, bouncy and responsive, enhanced by the carbon plate.  Just trying them on, it was obvious that they are going to be fast, fun and lively.  During an initial shakeout jog around the neighborhood the night before my race, I was a little nervous about the radical shape of the shoe, with wide forefoot and very narrow heel.  I lean towards being a heel striker and landing on this narrow heel at slower jogging paces is not ideal and perhaps a bit awkward.  Once I laced them up on race day however, just running them at warm up paces in the 7 min/mile range was a big improvement and then once the gun went off and I got rolling at race pace in the mid 6 min/mile range, I never noticed any issues.  These shoes are made to go fast and not at all suited for jogging.


Michael: We got a question on my initial Youtube comparison review about this, and I'll reiterate - the outsole here is sneaky good! It’s a tacky, relatively thinly-laid upper, and I didn’t have any issues in traction. 

What’s more, I think the durability is actually quite good. The rubber ASICSGrip - I don’t know what sort of rubber blend it technically is - but it’s placed well enough that I am not noticing any wear after 40ish miles of pure road running in the Sky. 

Jeff V:  The rubber outsole is strategically placed and while minimal, is effective for providing adequate road traction.  While there is still not a crash pad on the entire heel, the foam is more durable it seems and rounded so that the heel rolls better vs. a direct impact (and more wear like the Tokyo).  The rubber integrates well with the midsole foam and is very smooth and gives a soft landing (unlike other shoes I heard racing the Bolder Boulder, some seemed slappy and loud).

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Road Scoring Rubric

Michael: The Sky Paris is a surefire winner - it looks sharp, it takes all of ASICS latest and greatest midsole foam, geometry and plate tech (and then some!) and bundles it up, and it builds on a platform that was already proven to be successful and tweaks it where necessary (noticeably, the upper). I don’t know how many years I have to say this before everyone is fully tired of it, but we’re past the “Nike is the only true supershoe” era (which lasted, what, 2016-2020? ish?) and into the “you really need to find which platform works best for you” era. 

Undoubtedly, ASICS will win a lot of users that way - but I also need to mention that, unlike Nike and their Vapor/Alpha-fly split, the Edge Paris and Sky Paris are way more similar than different. I know runners who hate the Alpha and love the Vapor; I think the most disparate you’ll get here is “love the one, and really like the other.” They just aren’t that different, and having both clouds opinions a little. 

To quote Reddit user /u/gheilweil, “The problem for me is that I can never choose between the Sky and the Edge so I end up not getting either and going with the Vaporfly instead.” I think that was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the point stands - even though you can’t go wrong, you still need to make a decision! (For the record - that this is not meant to be a Sky vs. Edge review, but instead Sky objectively) - I think the Sky is better, and I did not expect to think that after finishing my Edge testing. The weight on the Sky matters way more than I expected).

But, judging the Sky Paris as its own shoe, against external competition, ASICS has done great here. We’ve dealt with heavy super shoes for a while now, and they’ve been fine - the Alphafly 2 is something like 8.6 oz in my size vs 6.0 oz for the Sky, and I have not once complained about its bulk underfoot or thought I was running slower because of it. Curiously, weight was the factor in racing flats, but has functionally become a non-factor in plated racers. Until lately. The Vaporfly 3 is 6.3 oz / 179g (US8.5) and got many’s attention, and the Sky Paris is even more noticeable for its (lack of) heft. The plate, geometry, and upgraded midsole make this fast and springy, and the upper is top-of-class. 

There’s a piece of me that thinks that with an 8mm drop, this could be a better shoe. There are times when I wish it was just a hint more aggressive to truly match the Vaporfly 3 at all distances, and I suspect - but don’t know - that a lower forefoot might solve that. Maybe Sky 4 (Sky LA? Sky Hollywood?) will take note - but truthfully, this is a shoe that doesn’t need many upgrades.Michael’s Score:

Jeff V:  Michael’s summary is spot on.  The Metaspeed Sky Paris is the ultimate in road shoe technology and performance.  They are incredibly light, responsive, fast, cushioned and well held in the upper and are a pleasure to run in.  While I am not particularly fast and run almost 100% on steep technical trails, they were a key factor in me being able to run above my own expectations at the Bolder Boulder and even get 2nd in my M50 age division.  

While I generally do not consider road running to be all that fun or enjoyable, I love races like the Bolder Boulder and the Metaspeed Sky Paris made it all that much more fun!

Jeff V’s Score: 9.75/10


Please watch Michael's Sky Paris to Edge Paris Comparative Video Review (7:12)

9 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

ASICS Metaspeed Sky + (RTR Review)

7.23 oz / 205g (men US9) 

Michael: The Sky+ had its flaws - namely, a bit of heft, and a bunchy upper that caused at least some irritation for nearly everyone I talked to - but.. I came away a big fan. An ASICS super shoe that can really compete with the big boys! As I wrote above, nearly everything that made Sky+ great is maintained here, and the changes are basically all improvements. Sure, a deeply discounted Sky+ will still get you a tremendous performer, but for those out looking, I’d undoubtedly take the Sky Paris.

Metaspeed Edge Paris (RTR Review)

6.3 oz / 179g US8.5

Michael: This is the question de jour, eh? One option to solve this dilemma is to follow ASICS’s guidance, and determine if you increase your speed by increasing cadence or increasing stride length. There are a whole host of mechanisms to do that - something like Stryd could tell you, and most modern Garmin and Coros models have at least a proxy (if not a downright calculator) for stride length. Run a few workouts at a few paces, check what’s changing, and… boom. Right?

Option two is to try them both on and (ideally) get a run in each and decide. Even with ASICS’ guidance, nothing beats really seeing which feels best on your foot - I was surprised here by how much I liked the Edge, and then again by how much I liked the Sky. So having both was in fact beneficial. As I describe in the full review, the springiness and light weight of the Sky Paris make it feel more fun and usable across the spectrum - the Edge feels like a more specialized tool. 

If you’re unable to try either on, and you don’t know whether you’re a stride-type or cadence-type runner, I would recommend the Sky Paris. Both options are great - and really, not that different - but I did find the lightness of the 

ASICS Metaspeed Edge + (RTR Review)

7.03 oz / 199g US8.5

Michael: Basically everything I said about the old Sky+ rings true here; I will note that the old Edge+ had an 8mm drop, which I appreciated very much, but isn’t enough (in my mind) to make the Edge+ worth picking up compared to the new Paris series. 

Nike Vaporfly 3 (RTR Review)

6.3 oz / 179g (US8.5) 

 Michael: This is certainty what I consider the closest competitor to the Sky Paris. Both are lightweight, nimble, and versatile racers - shoes you can pull out for a road 5K and a marathon without any real sacrifice. My biggest knock against either, coincidentally, is the tongue, which is annoying on both but way more annoying on the Vaporfly (seriously, I don’t know who okayed that!). And yet… this is a really hard call. 

The Vaporfly 3 is a touch heavier, though it doesn’t feel it, and I think that ZoomX is a bit more propulsive, but at the cost of feeling a hint firmer underfoot than the FF Turbo+. If you love a soft shoe, then the Sky Paris is a better call. Between the two, though, I just get a slightly quicker feel in the Vaporfly, and I don’t know exactly what it is - plate? Geometry? It’s slight, and I am sure that you’re not leaving any time on the table choosing between one or the other. I’d wear the ASICS for 26.2, and the VF3 for everything else… but it’s close! 

Adios Pro 3 (RTR Review)

7.63 oz  /  216 g US8.5

Michael: The Adidas Adios Pro 3 remains an absolute top-tier racer, despite its (relative) hierarchical defeat by the Adios Pro Evo 1 (which I’m yet to wear but as recently as yesterday was the top shoe in the Tokyo Marathon). But, don’t let internal competition distract you - the Adios Pro is a crazy, bouncy, extremely sharp racer which I almost love, but find just a hint to unstable for shorter, faster running (or anything with a large number of turns). The Sky Paris, by comparison, does not feel quite as springy (though it’s not far off), and you don’t reach the same “effortless pace” sensation, but the low weight and more in-control feeling of the ASICS go a long way. For a marathon (provided it’s not filled with switchbacks), I’d take the Adios Pro - for everything else, I prefer the Sky.

Nike Alphafly 3 (RTR Review)

Michael: Alphafly 3 is a firmer, more engineered feeling ride - quite distinct from the soft-and-light feel of the Sky Paris. They’re just different shoes, and it’s hard to directly compare. I personally really like the “non-stop rolling” sensation of the Alphafly, which seems to keep you moving forward with minimal input. But put a little energy into the Sky Paris, and it does feel like you get more out. If you’re a Vaporfly fan over the Alpha, you should look to the Sky Paris. If you’re always an Alphafly fan, the AF3 is the best version yet.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 (RTR Review) 

Michael: I really want to love Saucony’s newest racer, which undoubtedly is the best version of the Endorphin Pro we’ve seen. Objectively, it’s a good shoe, but I haven’t yet found a compelling reason to prefer it to the competition. Its platform is a little wider, which helps with stability, but also has some odd narrowness in the toe that bugs me every time I wear it over 10 miles. It’s also just not quite bouncy enough to feel super - like I know I’m getting a performance benefit, but it doesn’t quite have that magic you feel in some of the competitors. I do think it would shine at ultra distances, but I haven’t (quite) convinced myself to do that yet. Pick the Sky. 

Brooks Hyperion Elite 4 (RTR Review)

Michael: The HE4 was a pleasant surprise for me; it looks traditional and relatively unspectacular, but instead I found it energetic and springy at all sorts of paces. Unfortunately I don’t think the Brooks has quite the pop of the Sky Paris, which means I’m not really sure at which (if any) distance I’d recommend it, but if you’re looking for a more friendly or familiar super shoe, the Brooks is plenty capable. With the feather weight especially, there’s just some magic to the ASICS that’s lacking in Brooks. 

361° Furious Future (RTR Review)

Michael: Another major recent surprise for me was the Furious Future - 361 has quietly been making good shoes for a while, but none of them have been truly great. I’d say the Furious Future breaks that trend - it isn’t the best racer you can buy, but it is a superb option from a lesser-known brand. Undoubtedly, the 361 feels firmer than the ASICS - it’s a dense foam with some very stiff elements and plating, and is a good bit heavier than the ASICS. As with the Alphafly, it sort of comes down to what you’re looking for. The 361 is very enjoyable for those who want that kinetic, sort of engineered ride with a distinct toe roll off. The ASICS is poppier and more fun, and probably the better choice for most. 

The Metaspeed Sky & Edge Paris is available now at our partners

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Tester Profiles

Michael is a patent attorney and graduate of Northwestern University Law School. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). Michael’s PRs include a 67:43 half-marathon (Chicago Half-Marathon) and a 2:21:19 marathon PR at the 2023 Grandma’s Marathon. Michael continues to race on the roads, and is chasing a sub-2:20 marathon and potential OTQ in the future.

Jeff Valliere loves to run and explore the mountains of Colorado, the steeper and more technical the better. He has summited all of the 14ers in the state, many 13ers and other peaks in Colorado and beyond, plus, he has summited his local Green Mountain over 2,100 times in the past 20 years.   He can be found on mountain trails daily, no matter the weather, season, conditions or whether there is daylight or not.  On the side he loves to ski (all forms) bike and hike, often with his family, as he introduces his twin daughters to the outdoors. Jeff was born and raised in New Hampshire, but has called Colorado home for over 25 years. He is 5’9” and 145 lbs.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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Roger said...

I have had the previous versions of the Metaspeed Sky. While I like them for distances up to about 10K, my lower back and quads really feel it. Trying to decide between the Edge and Sky Paris for a half marathon. Which do you think feels the more cushioned for a heel striker? I am seeing some reviews favoring the Edge.

Anonymous said...

I have always loved ASICS and Metaspeed sky feel great, but the quality has gone down considerably in the past few years. Really got about 3 months out of these before the base fell apart and started to deteriorate. Should not have to shoe glue $232…not worth the price😐

Anonymous said...

I have the original Metaspeed Sky and have raced 3 marathons in them, most recently at Boston this past week. I went back and looked at both my cadence and stride length at easy pace vs race pace, calculated averages, and looked at several examples including marathon races and easy long runs of 18-20 miles. I found that both my cadence and stride length increase proportionally when at race pace, which leaves me confused as to which Paris model is best for me. My local shop only carries the Sky Paris, so I’m pretty limited in testing. Seems like the general consensus among reviewers is the Sky is best for most, so I may just try that rather than risk spending a lot on an Edge I can’t return.